Ideal Florida citrus growing season predicted - The Packer

Ideal Florida citrus growing season predicted

11/05/2010 11:38:20 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Rodgers called last season an excellent season that brought high quality.

He said he sees no reason why this season should not bring similar quality.

Matt Kastensmidt, national sales manager for IMG Citrus Inc., said navels should return to normal production levels after being down 20% last season.

Following a lighter crop, the trees this season have returned to normal, Kastensmidt said.

He called early October grapefruit prices favorable.

Doug Ohlemeier

A later California start in early November should give Florida shippers opportunities to promote navel oranges, which ship primarily fresh.

“Customers are saying there’s not a lot of good quality left in California,” he said. “So we are coming into an open market in grapefruit. All the customers are ready to get their season started with Florida grapefruit.”

Kastensmidt said the market in late September struggled with some rough-looking varieties of fallglos and ambersweets.

He called quality of early Florida shipments nice.

Jason Bedsole, sales manager of Eastern vegetables and citrus for Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., the fresh division of Oviedo-based A. Duda & Sons Inc., said buyers should expect to see a small increase in pricing on tangerines.

“Sizing may be off but otherwise, everything is good this season,” he said in mid-October. “Though sizing is a little off on the sunbursts, the honeys look to have a normal to average sizing. This was primarily influenced by last season’s colder weather.”

Duda, which packs primarily from Peace River Packing in the central part of the state, began packing tangerines in mid-October with grapefruit and navels following later in October.

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